Erica Watts is running for the office of vice mayor of Palmetto Bay. Born and raised in Maryland, Watts graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a BA in economics. After working with the courts system in Gainesville, Fla., she moved to Miami to earn a law degree at St. Thomas University. She and her husband Javier, a 40-year resident of this community, decided to raise their son in Palmetto Bay so he could attend the very same schools her husband did: Coral Reef Elementary, Southwood Middle, and Palmetto Senior High.
After years of experience working for local government and creating innovative public programs, I’m excited about the possibility of holding the position of Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay. Over the past two years as a member of the Village Educational Advisory Committee, while also serving as PTA President of Coral Reef Elementary, I have truly enjoyed having the opportunity to initiate progressive changes in both capacities. I learned first-hand that Palmetto Bay is receptive to community engagement and programs intended to enhance our quality of life.
Unfortunately, there has been divisiveness among this village council. Palmetto Bay has been consumed by the compromised politics of some of its representatives who claim to stand for something yet act and vote otherwise.
I am not a politician. My only agenda is the best interests of our residents. I am running a grassroots campaign and want to earn this position on my merit. I have used my degrees in economics and law to work for the community, both professionally and voluntarily. A public servant at my very core, I intend to be present and accountable to residents.
Traffic is an urgent issue for residents. It has diminished our quality of life resulting in distressed residents scared to exercise and play on their own neighborhood streets. If elected, I intend to address this daily, along with other paramount issues such as crime, safety, and irresponsible development.
Our council, county government, and residents need constant feedback and supportive ideas. Our residents are reasonable and understand that their wishes may not always be met. However, they want to be heard. It will be my goal to help residents feel more informed and engaged, particularly when important decisions that directly affect them are about to be made.
My campaign support comes from fellow residents only. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to learn more about me and/or to support my campaign. I also would like to thank the Community Newspapers for generously offering this forum.
Watts served with the Coral Reef Elementary School PTA starting in 2011 and was named president for a two-year term ending in June 2016. She also serves as a member of the Village Educational Advisory Committee.